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Ramona King

cornmeal fried catfish


From lemon pepper to traditional Southern fried, these 3 catfish recipes should be on your dinner table now

Catfish is a true Southern delicacy and we surely don't discriminate when it comes to how it's prepared—only that it's done well. We love to season and fry it up in hot grease but we'll surely also eat it broiled with Creole seasoning.

For what seems like far too long, catfish was disregarded in favor of other more mild tasting fish. Thankfully it isn't so much making a come back as people are opening their hearts, minds and imaginations to how versatile (and affordable!) this fish truly is. It's also a delicious way to boost your intake of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids while being high in protein and B-12.

Whether you're a catfish lover just looking to expand your recipe box or a novice trying to get into catfish, these three recipe will make sure that you've got the flavor to make your meal a success. 

Lemon Pepper Catfish
Serves: 2

A light sprinkling of seasoning, a cast iron skillet, a touch of butter and olive oil and in minutes, dinner is on the table!

1 pound catfish fillets, rinse and pat dry with paper towels
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Sprinkle both sides of fish liberally with lemon pepper.

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. When the butter melts and stops bubbling, slowly add the fillets to the skillet. After one minute of cooking, reduce heat to medium. Cook fish 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Fish is ready to eat when it flakes easily with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

Spicy Baked Catfish 
Serves: 2

Even though the catfish fillets are seasoned with cayenne, there's no mouth burning heat.

1 pound catfish fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse catfish fillets and pat dry with paper towels.

Place catfish on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle lightly with seasonings. Add an extra sprinkling of cayenne to raise the heat level if you'd like. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Serve immediately.

Lolly's Fish Fry & Hush Puppies 
Serves: 2 to 3

Fish fries are a tradition in the South. A light batter makes a great crunchy exterior.

For the batter
2 pounds catfish fillets, rinsed and patted dry
2 cups buttermilk
A few dashes of hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the seasoned flour
2 cups white, self-rising cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
4 cups cooking oil

In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, hot sauce and black pepper. Add a dash or two of salt, if desired, but remember the hot sauce will contain salt as well. Add the catfish and let soak for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

In a deep fryer or a heavy deep pot, preheat 3 to 4 cups of oil to 375 degrees. You will need enough oil to allow the fish to float to the surface as they cook.

In a shallow dish, combine cornmeal, pepper, seasoning salt, and garlic. Take one piece of fish at a time from the buttermilk mixture and let drain slightly. Place the fillet in the cornmeal mixture and thoroughly coat both sides.

Slowly add the fish into the oil one fillet at a time and cook in batches, so as not to crowd the fryer. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Using tongs, remove fish from oil and place on a baking sheet. Place in a warm oven while you fry remaining fish.


Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. She won the Duke Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. 


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Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. You can contact her at fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.